I had a user account of my ex boyfriend installed on my Mac. I want to completely delete it but it has been over a week now that it has been saying "deleting account.." under the user name. When I want to restart my mac it won't let me. It just says:

System Preferences is busy and can't be closed. Users & Groups preferences is removing a user account and saving the Home directory to a disk image.

2 Answers 2


If you want to completely delete it, you should cancel the current process as it is saving the whole user account to a disk image –which is why is taking so long– and restart the account deletion process without saving any data when prompted.

From the Apple Support page:

  1. Select the user you want to delete, then click Remove below the list of users.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • (…)
    • (…)
    • Remove the user’s home folder from the computer: Select “Delete the home folder.” The user information will be deleted and the storage space will be freed. If you want to prevent programs that read raw data from retrieving any files, select “Erase home folder securely.”
  • 2
    In case there is no option to cancel the current process, either terminate the process via the Apple menu or force a reboot by pressing the power button for 10 seconds.
    – nohillside
    Commented Jul 6, 2015 at 14:27
  • You're welcome, if it solved your issue you can mark it as accepted Commented Jul 7, 2015 at 15:42

As stated by Jaime Santa Cruz, it is taking a long time because it is saving his files to a disk image for backup. To stop that process, hold down the power button until you computer shuts off. You will be ok, but don't use this method for every issue you run into. It's fairly safe, but not foolproof.

A couple of assumptions here.....

  1. He must have had a lot of files.
  2. You probably don't want them

Here is the quick way to solve this issue (I am assuming you have Administrator rights to this Mac)

Using Finder, navigate to


Inside that folder you will find a folder structure similar to the following:


You may have more folders than that. Go into each folder and delete everything by moving it to the trash. Delete all the folders, but leave that structure intact.

Next, remove the account as you did before. It should go very quickly now.

Now, I am not at my mac to confirm, but if I remember correctly, when you try to remove a user account it should present you with a few choices of what to do with the users home folder. If you don't want his data, you can choose to delete it.

What I described is basically the manual process of deleting the home folder so either method will work.

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